Lawmakers back McCrory on Syrian refugees

Posted November 18, 2015

— A committee headed by the legislature's most powerful lawmakers has backed Gov. Pat McCrory's call to stop resettlement of Syrian refugees in North Carolina.

The apparently unanimous voice vote – no member audibly voted no – came at the end of a seven-plus-hour meeting of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, a committee chaired by House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

Although the vote carries little formal weight, it adds to the growing list of congressmen, political allies and even political foes in the state backing the governor's call for a pause. Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic front-runner to challenge McCrory in 2016, also backed the governor's efforts to slow resettlement.

Jimmy Broughton, McCrory's deputy chief of staff, told lawmakers that a conference call with White House officials did little to allay fears that the federal government could not thoroughly vet refugees.

"The difficult of background checks was again confirmed on the call last night," Broughton said.

Wednesday's meeting plowed little new ground on the refugee issue. Lawmakers queried state officials about how much they knew about those being resettled and how much of a role the state played.

"Our role really begins once resettlement has happened," said Sherry Bradsher, deputy director of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services.

The state passes through federal dollars to nonprofit resettlement agencies and helps coordinate the provision of benefits, she said.

"So, in other words, nobody can tell me whether the state is being consulted about whether it's appropriate for these people to be settled in our state," asked Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon.

"As far as safety? No," said Frank Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety. "The collaboration we're looking for doesn't exist."

Perry said that some federal agencies don't share information about refugees with each other, much less the states.

"That's felony-level sad," he said.

Until more information is forthcoming, Perry and Broughton said, McCrory would likely continue to oppose resettlement.


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  • Mick Flynn Nov 22, 2015
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    the five wealthiest countries on the Arabian Peninsula, that is, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, have not taken in a single refugee from Syria. Instead, they have argued that accepting large numbers of Syrians is a threat to their safety.

  • Charlie Watkins Nov 22, 2015
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    I do not see the problem. If New York wants to take them in then North Carolina is not trying to stop them.

    Let those states take the chance if they so desire.

  • Don Donaldson Nov 21, 2015
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    When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

  • El Conquistador Nov 21, 2015
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    View quoted thread


  • Don Benfield Nov 21, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    I'm more afraid of acts of terrorism committed by my fellow Americans than I am about any Syrian refugee.

  • Charlie Watkins Nov 21, 2015
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    No downside with this decision.

    Sooner or later a Syrian refugee will carry out a terrorist attack in the United States. That is pretty much guaranteed. Then those governors who invited them in will be apologizing to the families of the dead.

  • Tom Laurence Nov 20, 2015
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    Keep strong McCrory....bcuz its certain our president can't. Just today, France officials reported the capture of an Islamic Extremist from Syria, trying to enter France with an illegal VISA, and claiming to be a REFUGEE. Need more proof? I don't.

  • El Conquistador Nov 19, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    You do bring up a good point as Jesus would be refused by this administration:

    U.S. ‘discriminates’ against Christian refugees, accepts 96% Muslims, 3% Christians - Washington Post

  • Paul Maxwell Nov 19, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    So was Jesus.

  • Randy Riddle Nov 19, 2015
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    A sidebar with a list of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations committee members would have been helpful, along with their districts and party affiliation. The Dems on this committee should be asked why they're supporting hate and bigotry and not acting as the "adults in the room" here.